Airbus has secured its third potential customer for the A320neo, and the first in Latin America, the manufacturer announced this morning. Brazil’s TAM Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding covering 22 Airbus A320neos and 10 standard A320s. The companies did not reveal the subvariants involved in the deal, nor did they talk about delivery dates. Airbus expects the A320neo to reach the market in 2016.
“Our order for industry-leading, fuel-efficient aircraft opens a world of possibilities for TAM, thanks to its substantially increased range capability,” said Líbano Barroso, CEO of TAM Airlines. “Ordering more A320s allows TAM to reduce costs and further improve our environmental performance.”
“The A320neo will fit neatly into TAM Airlines’ fleet, offering maximum benefit for minimum change,” added John Leahy, Airbus COO for customers. “This enables TAM to take full advantage of Brazil’s expected growth in air travel, especially in light of the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games, and to do so in the most eco-efficient way possible.”
Brazil will serve as the host nation for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. The largest airline in Brazil, TAM already operates more than 100 A320-family aircraft.
Airbus has now secured commitments and firm orders for 202 A320neos. Late last year Indian low-fare carrier Indigo signed an MOU for 150 A320neos and Virgin America holds a firm order for 30.